Can I post Facebook updates to just my friends?
I know that Facebook has fiddled with its privacy settings, but I'm wondering if I can now post status updates that aren't for the entire world to read, but just my friends? In fact, weren't old updates just for my friends anyway??
You're right, as of the beginning of December, 2009, Facebook has fairly significantly tweaked how your privacy settings work. What appears to be happening is that they want to open up more of their data to the wider world of non-Facebook, non-connected people.
It does seem that by the way things used to be set up a status update on Facebook would only be read by your circle of friends. How would anyone else ever see the update? Perhaps if they did a search for you and it showed up in the search results profile? I don't recall seeing them when I did searches for others on Facebook, though.
Be that as it may, it's a brave new world with Facebook privacy and it's very worth spending a few minutes digging around in the new privacy settings (which you can find off the Settings option on the top right of your Facebook pages).
You can also dial down status updates to be for specific groups right as you enter the update itself. Let me show you:
You've seen that a million times, I bet. What's new, however, is the little padlock. Click on it and you'll find that you now have options:
I like this new option, but where it really gets interesting is when you click on "Customize", and find that you have some interesting new options, to say the least:
Now that update about how tedious it is in the office today? You can explicitly prevent it from being viewed by your boss, who will presumably just see the most recent status update that shares how much you love working at the firm!
I'm still not sure about the "only me" option, but it's interesting that when you do choose that setting, it shows up on your Life Feed with a little padlock that reminds you of its non-everyone scope:
Perhaps that's so you can take notes that you can access later?
Anyway, yes, you're right that you have much more control over the scope of your status updates in Facebook. Use it wisely! :-)
And, as always, if you seek facebook help, I encourage you to start here on my site and don't forget to join our Facebook fan page too. Or, better, take it with you: you can now have all this Facebook help -- and so much more -- in my five-star iPhone app!
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